Rita Pacheco, “Lil’ Red on the Fourth of July,” 8” x 10”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Lil’ Red on the Fourth of July,” 8” x 10”, available

An artist shares her favorite place to paint, which has gone from being a mining town to a tourist destination. Can you guess where?

My Favorite Place to Paint: A Visual Paradise

BY RITA PACHECO

A while back, I was asked by Bob Bahr at Plein Air Magazine where my favorite place to paint was and he wrote an article based on my response. It was published at that time, and recently re-published in Plein Air Today. A native Californian, I lived in San Diego and I told Bob about a lagoon in Carlsbad where I found myself more often than anywhere else in my area. (See the original article here.) https://www.outdoorpainter.com/my-favorite-place-to-paint-rita-pacheco-and-the-land-of-1000-paintings/

More recently, my “favorite place” has changed (not that I wouldn’t park myself and my gear at the Batiquitos Lagoon today giving the opportunity!) Three years ago my husband and I relocated to Ridgway, Colorado. We had become acquainted with this region of Colorado through our yearly visits to Telluride for the Telluride Plein Air Invitational, where I had participated for more than 10 years. When we were here all those summers, we both agreed that it would be a great place to retire (if only I weren’t afraid of those snowy winters!)

A series of events allowed us to make the move here, and luckily we discovered that the snow was not only manageable, but a joy to live, hike, ski, and paint in! (I have a few requirements for painting outside in the snow; one of them is that the temperature has to be above 30 degrees…I’ve seen other painters rough colder weather and I’m truly impressed but my fingers just don’t cooperate at anything less than 30!)

Witnessing the change in seasons has been glorious, and a joy to paint! (Admittedly, some of my winter scenes have been studio paintings based on photo references and quickly taken “color notes” en plein air.)

My favorite place to paint is the old mining town turned popular tourist destination – Telluride.

I’m always excited and challenged to paint “things” in the landscape: architecture, cars, etc., and this town has an abundance of all of these. I’m particularly fond of older buildings, and Tellurides’ are either a hundred years old, or refurbished to appear so. Their fire engine is a darling old 1940’s Ford – always fun to paint!

Telluride is also near the Cimarron and Sneffels Mountain Range, the quaint town of Ridgway where we live, and some glorious waterfalls, a visual paradise for any plein air painter.

Here are some examples of my most recent Southwest Colorado paintings:

Rita Pacheco, “Telluride Balloon Festival,” 20” x 16”, available at the Turquoise Door Gallery in Telluride
Rita Pacheco, “Telluride Balloon Festival,” 20” x 16”, available at the Turquoise Door Gallery in Telluride
Rita Pacheco, “Courting,” 16” x 16”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Courting,” 16” x 16”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Telluride Texting,” 20” x 10”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Telluride Texting,” 20” x 10”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Corrals of San Miguel” (these corrals are dated before Telluride!), 8” x 10”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Corrals of San Miguel” (these corrals are dated before Telluride!), 8” x 10”, available
Rita Pacheco, “Wilson Peak,” 8” x 12”, available at the Turquoise Door Gallery
Rita Pacheco, “Wilson Peak,” 8” x 12”, available at the Turquoise Door Gallery

Connect with Rita Pacheco at ritapacheco.com. 


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I did a four year run painting in Telluride during their fabulous July event and share Rita’s opinion regarding her experience there. I have participated in many events across the West and always come back to my time painting in Telluride as the zenith of high visual drama. At every turn from alpine switchback roads to the valley floor, pictorial possibilities are abundant and I found the town and its residents very welcoming.
    Good luck to Rita and Buddy in Ridgway, what I considered to be the entrance to the Telluride scene.

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